Portfolio Recovery Associates
Portfolio Recovery Associates runs with the big dogs. Portfolio Recovery Inc. launched in 1996 and took the company public (NASDAQ: PRAA) in November 2002. Portfolio Recovery Associates is a debt buyer, which typically means that Portfolio Recovery Inc. purchases large quantities of debt from creditors or other collection agencies that have written that debt off as uncollectible. Understandably, debt that has been deemed uncollectible is cheap. On its website, Portfolio Recovery Associates says that has purchased more than 30 million consumer accounts, and that in 2012, it broke “all records for cash collections, revenues, and net income.”
Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC boasts more than 3,200 employees in the United Kingdom and in ten states: Virginia, Alabama, California, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
Since Portfolio Recovery Associates is a publicly traded company, it issues quarterly financial reports that are available to investors and the public. Here’s a glimpse into Portfolio Recovery Associates’ financials: In 2012, Portfolio Recovery Associates raked in $592.8 million in revenue, compared with $458.9 million in 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2012 alone, Portfolio Recovery Associates paid $199 million for portfolios of charged-off consumer debt.
Portfolio Recovery Affiliates
Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC has a number of subsidiaries, which some might call Portfolio Recovery affiliates. Portfolio Recovery affiliates included Revenue Discovery Systems, MuniServices, and Broussard Partners Associates.
These subsidiaries, which the Portfolio Recovery Services groups under the umbrella of PRA Government Services, are in the business of collecting unpaid tax debt on behalf of municipal governments.
Revenue Discovery Services (RDS) says that it works for 475 local and state government jurisdictions, employs more than 230 staff members, and processes more than $750 million in tax revenue. It appears that RDS conducts collections on business taxpayers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas.
MuniServices says that it works on behalf of 260 cities around the U.S. and that it has collected over $1 billion in tax revenue. Their latest offering involves giving municipalities License Plate Recognition technology, which scans license plates with infrared beams, so that the debt collection agency can find cars with outstanding parking fines. MuniServices positions this as “the opportunity to know where scofflaw are located.”
Broussard Partners & Associates, another subsidiary or Portfolio Recovery Associates affiliate, was purchased by PRA in 2008. Located in Houston, Texas, BPA uses tax examiners and Certified Public Accountants to perform on-site taxpayer audits. They say that they have 35 local government jurisdictions as clients.
But those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Portfolio Recovery Associates affiliates. The company’s other arms include PRA Location Services, which the company says conducts vehicle location, skip tracing, and “collateral recovery” for companies that underwrite auto loans. It also has PRA Professional Services, which conducts auditing and “revenue recovery” for private businesses. Its Claims Compensation Bureau files class action claims on behalf of institutional investors. Finally, Mackenzie Hall Holdings Ltd. deals in outsourced and contingent debt collection.
Portfolio Recovery Complaints
Although Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (as of April 2013), the BBB had logged 1,303 closed Portfolio Recovery complaints within the previous three years, including 519 closed Portfolio Recovery complaints within the previous 12 months.
Another way to track Portfolio Recovery complaints is to look at the number of lawsuits that have been filed against the company. According to Justia.com, Portfolio Recovery was named as a defendant in three dozen lawsuits in March 2013 alone. The vast majority of these Portfolio Recovery complaints alleged that the company violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Stop Portfolio Recovery Harassment
There are many debt collectors who cross the line into behavior that’s prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Types of debt collection harassment include phone calls made early in the morning or late at night, calling numerous times each week (or multiple times per day), and contacting friends and family members. Debt collectors who work for debt buyers have been known to engage in other types of illegal behavior. For example, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector can’t make threats that he doesn’t intent to take or that he’s not legally allowed to take. How does this relate to debt buyers? Each state has a statute of limitations, after which it is not possible for a debt collector to file a lawsuit against you in court. The statute of limitations varies from state to state, so you should consult your own state’s laws. Oftentimes, the debt purchased by debt buyers is old, and may have exceeded the statute of limitations. Nevertheless, some debt collectors will call consumers and threaten to sue them or garnish their wages. This is a violation of the FDCPA. If this or any violation has happened to you, consult with an experienced credit harassment lawyer to protect your rights.
In addition, when debt buyers purchase debt in bulk, it’s often from other debt collection agencies that haven’t been successful in collecting on it. Many times, the records that are transferred to the debt buyer have very little identifying information. This often leads to cases of mistaken identity, whereby a debt collector calls a consumer who has the same name as the person who owes the debt, or has the phone number once owned by the person who owes the debt. It’s important to note that the FDCPA protects all consumers – even those who are hounded about a debt that isn’t theirs to pay.
That’s why you should insist upon documentation of the debt that Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC says that you owe. Once you receive the documentation, if you don’t believe the debt is yours, you should send Portfolio Recovery Associates a letter within 30 days disputing the debt. It’s up to PRA to send you proof that you owe the money. Until then, Portfolio Recovery Associates isn’t allowed to contact you.
Portfolio Recovery Phone Numbers and Address
Portfolio Recovery Associates
120 Corporate Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23502
Portfolio Recovery Phone Number: 888-772-7326
Lemberg & Associates’ team
of consumer attorneys is highly
skilled and ready to help you
with debt collector abuse.
If you have been the victim of harassment or illegal or unfair debt collection practices, Lemberg & Associates will discuss your options with you and protect your rights. For more information, contact Lemberg & Associates today at .
Learn More About Us